Day 4: What are the pros and cons of having a mental illness or your specific illness(es)?
Cons – Well, I have a hard time keeping a job, making friends, enjoying life — my depression and anxiety really inhibit me to do a lot of things. It isn’t fun at all. With anxiety, I really hate going out. I am scared of meeting new people. Then when I do make a friend, I get really overwhelmed if they keep asking me to hang out, so I quite answering their calls or texts – and well, they give up on me, which I don’t blame them for. I get overwhelmed with jobs too – so I feel sick and can’t go in, or I have panic attakcs during them, or I just stop going, or I quit. When I get depressed – nothing makes me happy. I can sleep for days. I can not shower for days. I am not interested in anything. My mania with my bipolar even stinks — spend lots of money, get agitated and frustrated. Nothing good from that. Basically — it just sucks. So nothing good about the mental illness there.
Pros – Hmm that is a hard one to even think about. With bipolar, there is mania. Most people like that. They say they are productive and all that jazz. For me, I hate my mania – nothing good comes out of it. So I cant even list that as a pro. I think I am more empathetic though. I see the world differently than most people. I feel pain. I know what it is like to hurt. I guess I don’t want to say I understand things better, and yet I also do want to say that. When someone is hurting or down, I feel like I really do understand them. I do feel like I see the world completely differently than someone without mental illness – I feel like I have a better perspective. I know that sounds bad and mean and wrong and as if I am better than them — but I feel like I just have a better understanding — or a different understanding I guess.
You have the power to say,
This is not how my story will end.
Depression hurts. Literally.
Not only does it hurt us emotionally and mentally and where it decides to beat us up in our minds —
—- but physically it takes a toll on us. Our bodies ache! Our joints hurt. Our muscles ache. We get tired. It feels like a truck hit us. A bus ran over us.
I remember going to my doctor a few months ago and complaining that my joints were hurting me — not all of them, but my joints in my fingers and my toes, my ankles and my elbows. Specifically my fingers though. At some point her partner had diagnosed me with arthritis and it does run in my family. She looked surprised and looked through the lab work — she said that the doctor had messed up my lab work, ordered the wrong tests, and diagnosed it off the wrong test.
Now I was confused — why the heck was I hurting so bad!!! I was going through an awful bout of depression at the time. She said it might have been the depression, that could definitely cause the pain, but to make sure she would run some labs and get some x-rays.
Off I went for the labs and x-rays. A few days later – bam! I was fine! Nothing was wrong physically via the tests.
It was the depression. I was feeling so bad that my body was literally hurting too. I wasn’t purposefully making myself hurt, but I was feeling so bad emotionally that my body was too.
Depression can come out in so many ways. Sometimes, people don’t even realize they are depressed immediately. They know they feel a bit down, but their symptoms mainly appear as the physical aches and pains and fatigue.
At one point, there was even a Cymbalta commercial focused on “Depression Hurts” — a lot of people made fun of it, you can actually find parodies of it on youtube. But it really isn’t funny… it is real – depression does hurt. It hurts more than just mentally, it hurts physically too.
I have been challenged by Izzy to create a “Pros and Cons” list of my dad. Pros” are the things that I am happy for, grateful for, or things that just made me smile. “Cons” are those things that you just want to forget about because they do nothing to help with your anxiety or mood that day.
Sooo Here we go:
- Cleaned up my apartment
- Student Loan Bills in the mail – which I shouldn’t have
- Psychiatrist Bill in the mail – which I shouldn’t have
- Kind of just feeling under the weather
- Was all alone, no one to talk to today
- One panic attack
- Trying to figure out how to pay for Grad school…blah!
- Alive – Living another day, but I missed the sunrise — maybe tomorrow?
- Woke up early (Thanks to a good sleep with Ambien!)
- Had some time to read today
- Listened to the rain and thunder, like every other day in Tampa – actually can’t figure out if this is a pro or con, but today it will be a pro
- Restricted myself from eating absolutely everything today (no I don’t have an eating disorder, but I can eat emotionally when I get bored or sad or manic or whatever the case may me).
- I didn’t go out and spend any money, or even look online on Amazon to spend money – even though they have smile.amazon.com which donates money to my charity (which is actually where I get my cousneling)…. whew.. I spend way too much money on that site with my bipolar. Money I do not have. Everyday I beat that is a day to celebrate.
- I watched my DVR of the Last Comic Standing season finale – sooo funny!! Made me laugh
- Looking forward to starting Grad School in like 2 weeks, but refer to Con number 7.
Ok this is definitely hard! Over time I will get better at.
Anyone else want to take this challenge?
Just take your days, list your pros and cons for the day – that is it! It helps you see what your day was like, the good and the bad. Slowly helps you realize that not everything went bad, you do have good things in your life… even simple things. Izzy has done a better job at conveying that in her blog over the past two days than I did in this though!
One small crack does not mean that you are broken,
it means that you were put to the test and you did not fall